"The Day the Wires Came Down"

My story "The Day the Wires Came Down" is the cover story of the April/May Asimov's.

It is about a brother and sister who learn a few things while on a normal-seeming errand on a kind of aerial gondola system that runs above the rooftops of the city in which they live. 

If possible, I ask my readers to refrain from seeing "The Day the Wires Came Down" as a steampunk piece, despite the presence of a technological level that is clearly late 19th century. There is steam, there is coal. There are even balloons. But the entire approach is resolutely non-punk. The story has none of the silicone-enhanced Victorianism that, to mind, characterizes that lately popular subgenre.

Here is the complete painting of which the magazine cover is a piece.

It's a beautiful illustration, and I hope leads people to the magazine, and the story. The artist is not American, and is identified as Ornicar (you can see the artist's name as the destination of the telpher car in the illustration).  When I learn more about the artist, I will let you know.

But don't be seduced by Ornicar's svelte steampunkness.  Arabella is not a Victorian lady--she is much more reluctant in her role, and more resistant to characterization, than this easily besooted parasol-carrying lady is.  Her brother Andrew has vanished. And my airy Jablokovian city has gotten a bit subterranean. All in pursuit of magazine-cover signifiers, I presume.

The story is a bit of a mystery, an elegy for a vanishing form of transportation, and a first exploration of my city.  I plan to write other such pieces. Give it a read, and let me know what you think.